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Article compiled by John Meads

The Barlows in Burton Latimer

The Barlow Family at Rothwell
The Barlow Family at Rothwell

The Barlow family, which played a major role in the development of retail trade and business in Burton Latimer in the second half of the 19th century and first half of the 20th century, originated in Rothwell. John Barlow, a builder, moved from Rothwell in the late 1860s and his cousin Charles, after serving an apprenticeship at Ernest Lewin's Burton Latimer shop at The Cross, bought it and moved here about the time of his marriage to Deborah Sharpe in 1877.

John Barlow 1851 - 1903

In 1870, John Barlow married Sarah Ball, the daughter of a Burton Latimer mason, Thomas Ball.  They went on to have eight children:

1871 Sarah – married Arthur James Cox in 1890

1875 Arthur John – married Rose Eliza Heasman in 1909

1876 Thomas Samuel – married Elizabeth Jane Moore in 1912

1880 Eliza – married Edmund Geagan in 1904

1881 Mary Ann – died in 1883

1885 Maud Mary – married George Worley in 1904 

1887 Alfred

1890 Sydney Albert

In the 1901 census, John was a self-employed builder and his two eldest sons were bricklayers.

Charles Barlow 1857 - 1923

Charles Barlow Deborah Barlow
Charles and Deborah Barlow

In 1877, at St. Mary’s Parish Church, Charles married Deborah Maria Sharpe. Charles and Deborah had six children:

1879 Frank – butcher - married Flavilla Cook in 1903 – Died 1948.

He had four sons:

Frank Geoffrey born 1904 – married Dorothy M Cox in 1930

Ralph born 1906 – married Constance Evelyn Goode in 1931. Died 1989.

Charles Stanley born 1908 – managed a farm, then moved to Canada and became a vet - married Dorothy Hurst in 1934

Philip W. born 1917 – married Cynthia Goode 1953

1880 Elizabeth Lilian - married Harry Pearson Cooper in 1906

1882 Alfred – grocer - married Edith Elizabeth Quincey, a milliner  in 1909; both of them ran adjacent shops in the High Street

1886 Arthur Edwin - butcher - married Betsy A Stimson 1910 - moved to Canada in 1929 as a farmer, followed by Betsy and daughter Mary in 1930

1888 Harold – married Mildred Westley  in 1916

1891 Daisy – married Frederick Poll in 1919 died in middle-age.


Barlow's main shop in about 1932
Barlow's shops c1932 - Arthur Gilbey on left

In the parish register at the time of his marriage, Charles Barlow was described as a grocer and draper, his father a builder and Deborah’s father, William Sharpe, was described as a grocer. William Sharpe and his family lived in the High Street in an old farmhouse, to which a shop had been added, the garden and orchard of which were later used as the site for building the school. In 1881, Charles and Deborah were living at The Cross where his family were to continue in business until the early 1960s. Some time after Deborah’s father’s death, Charles took over the shop from her mother and it was known as Barlow’s No: 2 Store. It was later to become a dairy.

Click on the Play symbol below to hear Jack Newman talk about Charles Barlow's dairy

(You may need to download the Quicktime Player for this and other sound clips)

Frank Barlow, Dick Blake, ??, and Charlie Booth outside the butchery c1930
Charles Barlow’s business premises at The Cross included a butcher’s shop and slaughterhouse operated by his eldest son Frank and a grocery and drapery operated by himself and later by his son Alfred and his wife Edith. His interests expanded to include farming,  brick making at Croxen’s Yard and ironstone extraction on the Finedon/Burton Latimer boundary. A few yards away from his premises at The Cross, Charles’ brother Henry, who had become a baker and confectioner in Kettering, opened a cake shop in the early 1920s, managed by his son.


Click on the Play symbol below to hear Jack Newman talk about Charles Barlow's wider business interests

All the time his businesses were growing, Charles Barlow was heavily involved in local government. This started with membership of the Board of Guardians from 1881, membership of the Parish Council from when it was created in 1894, membership of the Kettering District Council and also County Councillor for a total of 18 years, and County Alderman for seven years. He was chairman or vice-chairman of most of these bodies during this time.

He was chairman of the board of management of the Council School from when it was formed and a Charity Trustee for 35 years. He was deeply involved in the affairs of the Baptist Church . He was a deacon for over 25 years and Sunday School Superintendent for 30 years.

All these achievements were described in a beautifully illustrated Tribute in the form of a leather-bound book which was circulated around Burton Latimer in 1914 and was signed by over 500 people.

He started his married life living at The Cross, probably over the shop, but moved to The Yews in Kettering Road about 1892. The Yews was a large twin-gabled house, built in the mid-18th century, with a large garden. He employed a live-in domestic servant and a staff of five other domestic servants and gardeners to look after his family and the house.

Painting of The Yews in 1914 Staff at the Yews in about 1916
The Yews 1914
Staff at The Yews c1916

Following the death of Deborah in 1920, he presented an organ to the Baptist Chapel in her memory. There is also a memorial in the Chapel, placed there by his fellow deacons to record his work for many years as the Church’s treasurer.


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